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An aging maverick, Charlotte native Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong has no regrets
The Charlotte Observer ^ | 10/19/2013 | David Gibson

Posted on 10/19/2013 7:19:42 PM PDT by boatbums

At 82, retired and enjoying life, Bishop John Shelby Spong doesn’t have to be the liberal enfant terrible whose pronouncements for gay rights and against traditional dogmas once scandalized Christendom. Indeed, many of the views that once turned the Charlotte native and former Episcopal bishop of Newark into a lightning rod are now regarded as so matter-of-fact that they barely occasion much notice: Ordaining gay clergy and blessing same-sex marriages, for example, or having a female presiding bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, the first woman elected to lead a national church in the Anglican Communion.

On a range of issues, Spong can point to advancements that he helped push during a long and remarkable career – 20 years as a priest in North Carolina and Virginia and 24 years as a bishop in Newark. Through it all, Spong never retreated an inch. By the time he retired in 2000, his own diocese had 35 openly gay and lesbian clergy, and he also helped promote a new generation of church leaders who can carry his progressive torch: 11 clerics from his tenure are now bishops, more than from any other diocese, he says. At the same time, Spong also became a best-selling author who routinely, and infamously, questioned long-held doctrines and literal interpretations of the Bible. The Virgin Birth, the bodily resurrection of Jesus, the historical accuracy of Jesus’ sayings in the Gospels – all these and much more were targets of Spong’s pointed pen during his heyday. “It was really a very exciting time,” he said of the fight for rights for gays and women. “That battle was very controversial. But that battle is so over today. That battle is won.”

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/10/17/4394687/an-aging-maverick-charlotte-native.html##storylink=cpy

(Excerpt) Read more at charlotteobserver.com ...


TOPICS: Apologetics; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: ecusa; episcopagan; episcopaganism; feminaziagenda; heresy; homonaziagenda; homosexualagenda; orthodoxy; religiousleft; spong
Hard to imagine a minister (a BISHOP, even) of a supposed Christian denomination would proudly deny the virgin birth of Jesus, the Resurrection or the very gospel He preached. It's not too difficult to see how the "lesser" principles suffered as well.
1 posted on 10/19/2013 7:19:42 PM PDT by boatbums
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Comment #2 Removed by Moderator

To: boatbums

After he dies he might have a few.


3 posted on 10/19/2013 7:22:43 PM PDT by vladimir998
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To: boatbums

One of many Anti-Christs... And there’s something about a millstone and the deep blue sea that awaits Spong’s reward.


4 posted on 10/19/2013 7:23:16 PM PDT by Mamzelle
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Just another reprobrate scumbag.


5 posted on 10/19/2013 7:24:00 PM PDT by I got the rope
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To: boatbums

People like those nice big churches .....regardless of whats being taught there.

Spong is Wrong


6 posted on 10/19/2013 7:25:57 PM PDT by MeshugeMikey ( Un-Documented Journalist / Block Captain..Tyranny Response Team)
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To: boatbums

Another achievement. The Episcopalian Church went from 4.2 million to 2.4 million members during this same period. And it continues to fall.


7 posted on 10/19/2013 7:27:06 PM PDT by 17th Miss Regt
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To: boatbums

The Episcopal Church was once a fine and beautiful denomination. The homosexuals must have noticed that and pretty much took over...very sad.


8 posted on 10/19/2013 7:29:36 PM PDT by AlexW
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To: boatbums

Aging maverick.

9 posted on 10/19/2013 7:31:59 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Who knew that one day professional wrestling would be less fake than professional journalism?)
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To: boatbums

John Spong is a character right out of a C. S. Lewis book.

Unfortunately for him, it’s the Episcopal Ghost from “The Great Divorce”.


10 posted on 10/19/2013 7:32:04 PM PDT by RichInOC (No! BAD Rich! (What'd I say?))
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To: boatbums
Hard to imagine a minister (a BISHOP, even) of a supposed Christian denomination would proudly deny the virgin birth of Jesus, the Resurrection or the very gospel He preached. It's not too difficult to see how the "lesser" principles suffered as well.

Add to those heresies, he denied the immutable sin of homosexuality. It IS a choice people make since there is NO "gay," "bisexual" or "asexual-nonsexual" gene. Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve or Adam, Steve, Mary, Joan, etc.

11 posted on 10/19/2013 7:33:56 PM PDT by cloudmountain
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To: I got the rope
Just another reprobrate scumbag.

Reprobate scumbag...you have an accurate way with words.

12 posted on 10/19/2013 7:34:55 PM PDT by cloudmountain
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To: boatbums
An aging maverick. . . .

A raging heretic. . . .

There, fixed it.

13 posted on 10/19/2013 7:35:04 PM PDT by Charles Henrickson (Lutheran pastor, LCMS)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
I love ole McCain.
Unfortunately those five l-o-n-g years at the "Hotel Hanoi" did some unfortunate things to his brain.
14 posted on 10/19/2013 7:36:16 PM PDT by cloudmountain
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To: boatbums
Gotta love the churches nowdays...this, and...the Lutherans & others 'sponsoring' somalian 'refugees' and bringing them here....

15 posted on 10/19/2013 7:36:29 PM PDT by 45semi (A police state is always preceded by a nanny state...)
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To: Mamzelle
One of the other parts of this article describing Spong's views:

    Spong doesn’t think any of the Gospels are literal retellings of the life of Christ. “All of them were written 40 to 70 years after the Crucifixion, in a language that Jesus did not speak, and not by eyewitnesses,” he said. “I see them more as Jewish interpretive portraits painted by Jewish artists trying to capture the essence of this man’s life.”

So, not only does he completely IGNORE historical Christianity AS written by the first Christians who WERE eyewitnesses to the accounts of Jesus as told in the Gospels, he ignorantly denies that Greek was the lingua franca of Palestine ever since Alexander the Great (300's B.C.) as well as the Jewish religious leaders would have NO reason whatsoever to write favorably about a person they rejected nationally as the promised Messiah (even though that WAS one of the prophecies concerning the true Messiah). It's too bad that people respect a man because of status and supposed intellectualism yet neglect to do even a minimal amount of deductive reasoning and research on their own. I wonder how many he has lead away from the truth and WILL answer for at the Judgment?

16 posted on 10/19/2013 7:45:52 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: boatbums
RE: ...he completely IGNORE historical Christianity AS written by the first Christians who WERE eyewitnesses

As do all protestants.

17 posted on 10/19/2013 7:52:32 PM PDT by big'ol_freeper ("Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid" ~ Ronald Wilson Reagan)
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To: boatbums

whatever, the damage he’s done continues on today.


18 posted on 10/19/2013 7:55:03 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
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To: MeshugeMikey
The Episcopal church is not big.

Nor were the congregations Spong "pastored."

In fact, the diocese of which he was bishop - across its 100 parishes combined - had smaller Sunday attendance than many individual congregations in Evangelical or Catholic churches.

Newark's diocesan cathedral is half the size of my local Catholic parish and probably an eighth the size of a Saddleback.

Spong's real "congregation" has always been the media and academia.

19 posted on 10/19/2013 8:07:06 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: wideawake

Thanks.


20 posted on 10/19/2013 8:07:58 PM PDT by MeshugeMikey ( Un-Documented Journalist / Block Captain..Tyranny Response Team)
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To: big'ol_freeper
Tell it to Larry
21 posted on 10/19/2013 8:10:23 PM PDT by BlueDragon (For with stammering lips and another tongue He will speak to this people...)
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To: big'ol_freeper

“As do all protestants.”

Yes, well, just as Spong will one day have to answer for his smugness - even though he doesn’t think he will - so will we all. That I know for sure.


22 posted on 10/19/2013 8:17:53 PM PDT by Belteshazzar (We are not justified by our works but by faith - De Jacob et vita beata 2 +Ambrose of Milan)
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To: boatbums

I actually went to a lecture he gave in Florida. It was like being in the room with a large lizard, really bad vibes, and I certainly was not the only person who felt uncomfortable with him. The virgin Mary was a prostitute? Or at least not a virgin.


23 posted on 10/19/2013 8:27:51 PM PDT by Veto! (Opinions freely dispensed as advice)
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To: big'ol_freeper
RE: ...he completely IGNORE historical Christianity AS written by the first Christians who WERE eyewitnesses

As do all protestants.

Hey, Big'ol, how 'bout we hang up the Saturday Catholic vs. Protestant boxing match and agree about something for a change??? I certainly don't deny the virgin birth, the resurrection, the sacrificial death of Christ for my sins nor do I deny that the Bible contains genuine eyewitness accounts of Jesus' very words as He promised his followers He would bring to their remembrance everything He taught them through the indwelling and empowering Holy Spirit. So, NO, "all" Protestants do NOT ignore the truth. I don't believe ALL Catholics are heretics, either.

I believe this Bishop Spong is one of those that Jesus spoke of that would face Him at the last judgment and would be saying, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?", and He will declare to him, "I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS." (Matt. 7:22). This man loved the praises of men more than that of God. He cherished being a "maverick" and challenging the truths of God and he doesn't regret anything he's done. But, one day, he WILL.

24 posted on 10/19/2013 8:29:21 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: boatbums; NYer; markomalley

I believe the root of his position lies in this statement:

He wrote: “[I have] immerse[d] myself in contemporary Biblical scholarship at such places as Union Theological Seminary in New York City, Yale Divinity School, Harvard Divinity School and the storied universities in Edinburgh, Oxford and Cambridge.”[2]

Union Theological Seminary became a well spring for liberalism, secular humanism, social gospel, and supportive of leftist/communist causes beginning in the 1950s. It is from here that many of his ‘beliefs’ probably came and that he has spread over the decades.

By what he has preached, I believe that he decided that his goal in life was not preaching the Gospel of Jesus, but the destruction of Christianity.


25 posted on 10/19/2013 8:37:13 PM PDT by GreyFriar (Spearhead - 3rd Armored Division 75-78 & 83-87)
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To: GreyFriar

I agree. I think every one of those seminaries you mentioned at one time stood for the orthodox Christian faith but that stand was slowly whittled away into the institutions they now are where anything goes - all in the name of education and progress.


26 posted on 10/19/2013 8:41:49 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: wideawake
Spong's real "congregation" has always been the media and academia.

Exactly! The praises of men over the praises of God. He has a rude awakening coming and maybe not that much longer.

27 posted on 10/19/2013 8:43:43 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: boatbums

It is still considered by many that Lark’s Gospel was written by John Mark - travel companion of Paul and possibly the same Mark that was associated with Peter - Maybe not an eyewitness to everything but certainly a recorder of the stories of these men!

Mel


28 posted on 10/19/2013 8:46:17 PM PDT by melsec (Once a Jolly Swagman camped by a Billabong.)
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To: melsec

LArk’s hahaha - I meant Mark’s!


29 posted on 10/19/2013 8:48:18 PM PDT by melsec (Once a Jolly Swagman camped by a Billabong.)
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To: melsec
It is still considered by many that LMark’s Gospel was written by John Mark - travel companion of Paul and possibly the same Mark that was associated with Peter - Maybe not an eyewitness to everything but certainly a recorder of the stories of these men!

And the Gospel of Luke was recorded by a non-Apostle. What matters, and what disputes this Bishop Spong's false idea, is that these accountings WERE written either by direct eyewitnesses or with the input from direct eyewitnesses. Additionally, they were written, copied and disbursed WHILE many of the eyewitnesses were still living and could invalidate what was written as the truth concerning Jesus and His message and ministry had they been untruthful or mistaken.

We should remember that we accept the sacred Scriptures by faith as from the Holy Spirit, who carried along those who He commanded to write the words. These men, just like the prophets of the Old Testament scriptures, did not speak from their own thoughts and musings but spoke as God led them. That is why we see that the power of God comes through these words and hearts are won to Christ even two thousand years later - the message never changes and never has to.

30 posted on 10/19/2013 10:12:50 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: Veto!

Interesting isn’t it when there is just something that doesn’t sit right when we hear it. We may not be able to pinpoint it right away but there is this “still, small voice” that nudges our hearts.


31 posted on 10/19/2013 10:14:40 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: boatbums

so he’s an unbeliever who joined this particular faith in order to destroy it from the inside.

he ought to have been forced out of the ministry after denying the core teachings of the bible


32 posted on 10/19/2013 10:36:50 PM PDT by RginTN
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To: RginTN

Sounds like he is the “blind leading the blind”. All the genuine Christians probably left his ministry long ago.


33 posted on 10/19/2013 10:59:17 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: boatbums

that explains everything.


34 posted on 10/19/2013 11:17:28 PM PDT by RginTN
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To: boatbums

He pretty much succeeded in destroying the Episcopal Church from inside out! All of his heresies are also ancient ones. I am glad he did what he did because heretics like him pushed me to seek being received into the Catholic faith, a place where I really needed to be.


35 posted on 10/19/2013 11:43:49 PM PDT by FlyingEagle
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To: boatbums

Yes very true but for those searching it is nice to be able to say - so and so wrote this only 30 years after Jesus’ death and he was associated with Paul or Peter etc. Peter in one of his letters says to his readers “We were eyewitnesses” - I don’t think a letter containing a lie like that would have stayed in circulation if it was not true so it makes for good apologetics to have some idea!!

Blessings

Mel


36 posted on 10/19/2013 11:43:50 PM PDT by melsec (Once a Jolly Swagman camped by a Billabong.)
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To: boatbums; alphadog; infool7; Heart-Rest; HoosierDammit; red irish; fastrock; NorthernCrunchyCon; ...
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.

37 posted on 10/20/2013 12:04:01 AM PDT by narses (... unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.)
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To: boatbums; big'ol_freeper; xzins; Charles Henrickson
It would be really great if we could permanently retire the "Catholic vs. Protestant boxing match" or food fight or whatever. We have real common enemies and a common Enemy who has made much "progress" while we fight. We agree on about 95% and should bear that in mind and soul however important the other 5% may be.

You will know the Christians. They are the ones who love one another.

Boatbums: that post of yours was what we need a lot more of here from ALL of us.

38 posted on 10/20/2013 4:31:20 AM PDT by BlackElk (Dean of Discipline, Tomas de Torquemada Gentlemen's Society: Rack 'em, Danno)
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To: Veto!

“The virgin Mary was a prostitute?”

I know that Spong’s a total heretic/false teacher but did he really say that?!


39 posted on 10/20/2013 9:56:54 AM PDT by ReformationFan
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To: vladimir998

Agreed.


40 posted on 10/20/2013 9:58:15 AM PDT by ReformationFan
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To: Mamzelle; wideawake; Veto!; boatbums
4 One of many Anti-Christs...

BINGO!

19 ... Spong's real "congregation" has always been the media and academia.

AMEN!

23 I actually went to a lecture he gave in Florida. It was like being in the room with a large lizard, really bad vibes, and I certainly was not the only person who felt uncomfortable with him. ...

So did I in Birmingham around 1999. You captured the feeling spot on. Sadly, there were folks present who applauded him. A local Baptist pastor attended and crossed swords with him in the Q&A. Spong deftly deflected the pastor to the delight of the misguided.

33 Sounds like he is the “blind leading the blind”. All the genuine Christians probably left his ministry long ago.

Agreed. The "Exodus" really picked up speed after the 2003 election and consecration of homosexual NH Diocesan Bishop Gene Robinson.

41 posted on 10/20/2013 12:06:01 PM PDT by MacNaughton
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To: BlackElk
Thank you.

Though I cannot ignore those areas where we DO differ - areas that I truly believe are essential to genuine Christian faith - I accept that Christians are found in many places. It is not beneficial to the cause of spreading the gospel of the grace of God through faith in Christ to constantly provoke flame wars among fellow Conservatives where all that is left are offended and angry spirits primed and ready for the NEXT opportunity to rear its head to strike back in revenge.

I KNOW this is not what Jim envisioned for this website. I KNOW it is not something that glorifies God or attracts others to join. Where we disagree, we should be able to discuss, with each contributor having the freedom to express his or her beliefs trusting that animosity and condemnation from fellow Freepers will not be rained down on her/his head for doing so. I readily admit that most of us have fallen into this trap from time to time. Being human, it is not an easy thing to read criticism of our faith and not want to retaliate in like manner. What I have observed over the years I have been here is that rarely do opinions get changed by browbeating and animosity. Paul said we should be ready to give an answer to those who ask us of the reason for the hope that is within us with gentleness and respect.

This bishop, of whom the article speaks, seems to be someone who, when confronted with forces that objected to the straight and narrow of the orthodox Christian faith, gave in and changed his doctrine to be friendly with the world - preferring the praise of men more than the praise of God. He persisted on this path for so long that he can no longer even recognize what is true anymore - preferring a relative theology rather than any absolute doctrine as laid down by Holy Scripture. We NEED men and women to stand firm in the faith once delivered unto the saints - it never HAS changed and never needs to change. It is the power of God unto salvation to all those who believe.

Thanks again for your comments.

42 posted on 10/20/2013 12:23:28 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: boatbums
But that battle is so over today.

Well, at least that so gay "so" thing so won.

43 posted on 10/20/2013 12:33:46 PM PDT by x
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To: boatbums

Spong is demon possessed.


44 posted on 10/20/2013 1:05:21 PM PDT by fwdude ( You cannot compromise with that which you must defeat.)
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To: RginTN

Saul Alinsky tactic.


45 posted on 10/20/2013 1:10:16 PM PDT by ReformationFan
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To: boatbums; All

Check out this excellent satire on Spong-

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/3081333/posts


46 posted on 10/20/2013 2:44:51 PM PDT by ReformationFan
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To: ReformationFan

Good job! Song of Spong, indeed! ;o)


47 posted on 10/20/2013 3:14:51 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: boatbums

“All of them were written 40 to 70 years after the Crucifixion, in a language that Jesus did not speak, and not by eyewitnesses,” he said. “I see them more as Jewish interpretive portraits painted by Jewish artists trying to capture the essence of this man’s life.”

70 years after the crucifixion? Then some of these Jewish artists might have mentioned the destruction of the temple in 78 AD. The lack of any mention of it dates the writings, and while the 40 might be accurate the 70 is way off.


48 posted on 10/21/2013 2:30:16 AM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: FlyingEagle

I am glad he did what he did because heretics like him pushed me to seek being received into the Catholic faith, a place where I really needed to be.

...it would probably be a good idea for you to look into the Catholic seminaries of the 1970’s,and what they were teaching...and the meat cleavers they took to the traditional Deposit of Faith...John Shelby Spong did not exist in a vacuum, the ethos of the times demanded a wholesale purging of that which had come before...some faiths took that ‘cleansing’ to greater lengths than others, but all were infected...


49 posted on 11/05/2013 6:54:42 AM PST by IrishBrigade
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To: kearnyirish2

70 years after the crucifixion? Then some of these Jewish artists might have mentioned the destruction of the temple in 78 AD. The lack of any mention of it dates the writings, and while the 40 might be accurate the 70 is way off.

...true enough (though the destruction was 70 AD, not 78)...
this event was well recorded by later Jewish historians such as Josephus, and its exclusion in the Gospels certainly speaks to their earlier formation, even while it is not ipso facto dispositive proof...I’ve heard some postulate that Christ’s foretelling of the Temple destruction precluded the necessity of writing about the actual event...but I’m not buying that...

...the actual truth is that nobody really knows either who wrote the Gospels and when they were written, though of course educated opinion provides compelling conjecture...


50 posted on 11/05/2013 7:06:34 AM PST by IrishBrigade
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